Hillary Clinton held a swiftly organized and private meeting with the mothers of various famous police brutality victims in Chicago on Monday evening. The intent was to address the tension between law enforcement and communities of color.
Lesley McSpadden, the mother of Michael Brown, Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, Samaria Rice, the mother of Tamir Rice, and Maria Hamilton, the mother of Dontre Hamilton were all present for the intimate gathering. A campaign aide says that Clinton mostly listened to the mothers’ “heartbreaking stories,” then segued into discussing her policies on gun control and criminal justice reform.
The event was held just three days after a rally she held at the historically Black college, Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, was interrupted by #BlackLivesMatter protestors confronting Clinton for her stance on excessive force by the police against men and women of color.
At the rally, Clinton said:
“We also need to look beyond the specific criminal justice reforms to the deep-seated social and economic inequities that divide our country. More than half a century after Rosa Parks sat and Dr. King marched and John Lewis bled, race still plays a significant role in determining who gets ahead in America and who gets left behind.”
Outside of the private event with #blacklivesmatter families, Clinton has currently been spending time in Chicago for fundraising efforts before heading to Iowa for more campaign events.
This meeting is just one of the many Clinton will be including on her campaign trail to court African American voters. Many see her efforts as trying to detract attention from her strongest opponent among the Democrats, Bernie Sanders, in a period when Black voters are more preoccupied with their safety in interactions with the police than ever.
In the summer, Clinton spoke on the issue of police brutality at a Black church near Ferguson using the phrase, “All Lives Matter” which drew criticism from those most sympathetic to the movement. This week, Clinton has been joined by the famous Civil Rights Activist and Representative John Lewis of Georgia in her “African Americans for Hillary” campaign.